Mahasti Afshar Appointed as PAAIA's New Executive Director
Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)
The Board of Directors of PAAIA is very pleased to announce the appointment of
Ms. Mahasti Afshar as the organization's next Executive Director.
A Harvard Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indo-European Folklore and Mythology, Mahasti
brings two decades of experience in top management roles at the Getty
Conservation Institute, ARCH Foundation/Austria, the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Association, X PRIZE Foundation, and most recently, the National Geographic
In addition to Persian and English, Mahasti is proficient in French and Spanish
and has studied Sanskrit, Avestan, Pahlavi and other ancient languages. Please
for a more detailed biography of Ms. Afshar.
"We are very excited by the prospect of Mahasti picking up where Babak Hoghooghi
has ably taken the organization since its inception in August 2007," said Hamid
Biglari, Chairman of the Board of PAAIA. "We are particularly impressed by the
breadth of her non-profit experience, her high intellectual acumen, integrity,
creativity, vision and commitment to PAAIA's mission."
Mahasti had this to say about her new responsibilities: "I feel like I've won a
prize-I must have done something good in my life! Beginning with my work at NIRT
in Tehran and the Festival of Arts in Shiraz, my career has been a series of
close encounters with creative and innovative people who have wanted to give
back to society, to share, because they care. Well, that's also the profile of
the PAAIA board, its staff, the local chapters, and our more than 2,200
Mahasti went on to add: "To me, PAAIA's mission translates into helping us be
better citizens. I want to help us tap into the best of our rich Iranian
heritage, to help us feel enriched by our mixed Iranian American identity, be
actively inspired by our democratic values, and work on common goals that
benefit our own community as well as society at large. We owe this to our
children and their children. We can work on our goals as individuals, but
imagine what we can do as a community? The sky's the limit! All it takes is a
belief in ourselves and trust in the future."
With Mahasti taking the helm at PAAIA, Babak Hoghooghi will join the Board of
Directors as a regular Director and will continue to serve the organization in
that capacity. As PAAIA's Executive Director, Mahasti will be an ex-officio
member of the Board. Ms. Afshar resides in Southern California. As such, over
the next few months, PAAIA's headquarters will move to Los Angeles but the
organization will maintain its Government Affairs Office in Washington, D.C.
... Payvand News - 03/25/16 ... --
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